4x400m Relay Wins Title, Buckeyes Finish Fourth at Big Ten Championships

Go Buckeyes! Thomas Murdaugh and the 4x400m relay team won the Big Ten title Saturday at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Photo by Dennis Hubbard.
Go Buckeyes!
Thomas Murdaugh and the 4x400m relay team won the Big Ten title Saturday at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Photo by Dennis Hubbard.
Go Buckeyes!

Feb. 25, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State's 4x400m relay team won the Big Ten title in a meet record-time of 3:08.06 to help the 13th-ranked Buckeyes to a fourth-place team finish at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Lincoln, Neb.

Antonio Blanks, Korbin Smith, Marvel Brooks and All-American Thomas Murdaugh thrilled the crowd at the Devaney Indoor Track in the final event of the championships with a top-10 Division I time of 3:08.06, besting second-place Penn State by .65 seconds. Minnesota finished third in 3:09.52.

No. 11 Indiana edged three-time champion and eighth-ranked Minnesota 104-100 in the final team standing to take home its first conference title since 1992. Host and 15th-ranked Nebraska placed third with 99 points and the Buckeyes finished the meet with 94.33 points.

In individual competition, Cory Leslie was the top performer of the day for the Buckeyes, capturing a total of 14 points for the Buckeyes' team score with a runner-up finish in the mile and the third-place performance in the 800m.

Ohio State's weight throwers also performed well, earning 15 points for the team. Max Mays captured runner-up honors at 21.26m (69-9), while Matt DeChant placed third with a throw of 21.18m (69-6) - both marks rank among the Top 15 in Division I this season. Billy Gehring finished eighth at 19.29m (63-3.50).

Here's a look at how the final day of competition went for the Buckeyes:

60m Dash
Brandon Blackwell picked up a single point with an eighth-place time of 7.15. Andrew Riley of Illinois won the event in 6.62, .01 seconds off of the meet record.

200m Dash
Crossing the finish line in 21.55 seconds, Murdaugh finished second in his heat and third overall, picking up six team points in the process. Indiana's Kind Butler was the gold medalist in 20.92.

400m Dash
Murdaugh placed second in his heat and third overall in a top-20 national time of 46.81, good for six team points. Minnesota's Harun Abda took the title in 46.51, followed by Ricco Hall of Nebraska (46.53).

600m Run
A time of 1:19.90 helped Marvel Brooks capture three points and finish second in his heat and sixth overall. Abda of Minnesota won his second Big Ten title of the day in a conference record-time of 1:15.68.

800m Run
Leslie completed his race in a top-15 DI time of 1:48.42, placing him behind Iowa's Erik Sowinski (1:47.90) and David Pachuta of Minnesota (1:48.05).

Ohio State collected a total of 11 points in the event. Leslie was the runner-up in a time of 4:04.69, while Chris Fallon took sixth in 4:07.74. Indiana All-American Andy Bayer edged Leslie for first place in a time of 4:04.64.

High Jump
Devin Smith captured a third of a point (.33) by virtue of an eighth-place finish in the high jump (2.07m/6-9.50). Darius King of Indiana took first by clearing the bar at 2.22m (7-3.25).

Weight Throw
Minnesota's Micah Hegerle bested both Mays and DeChant with a first-place mark of 21.50m (70-6.50), an NCAA automatic qualifier.

Michael McCarty (5515 points) and Heath Nickles (5476 points) combined for five team points with sixth and seventh place finishes, respectively. Wisconsin's Japheth Cato was the champion with 5902 points.

Final Team Standings
1) No. 11 Indiana - 104 points
2) No. 8 Minnesota - 100
3) No. 15 Nebraska - 99
4) No. 13 Ohio State - 94.33
5) Wisconsin - 75
6) No. 19 Penn State - 51.33
7) Illinois - 49
8) Iowa - 45
9) Michigan State - 32.33
10) Michigan - 30
11) Purdue - 21

Up Next
Select athletes will compete at the Alex Wilson Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind., March 2.